What is car hire excess?
It is the amount you need to pay towards the repair costs if you damage your rental vehicle or the excess the rental company charges if you write off the vehicle or if its stolen. The excess charged by rental companies does vary but can be up to £2000.
Does this care hire excess policy provide motor insurance to cover the rental vehicle?
No - this car hire excess policy is NOT a motor insurance policy or a replacement for your CDW/LDW cover. Please see the answer to "What is meant by CDW/LDW (Collision Damage Waiver and Loss Damage Waiver?)" later on in this FAQ section.
This car hire excess policy will only reimburse the amount of any excess you have to pay under the terms of the hire company's Collision Damage Waiver and theft insurance following damage to the rental vehicle. This car hire excess policy will NOT cover the full value of the vehicle itself.
How does your insurance policy work?
If you damage a rental car, write it off or its stolen, the rental company will charge you an excess and take the money from your credit card. This insurance policy will then reimburse you the amount of the excess that you have paid (please note cover limits in the policy).
Who is the insurer behind this cover?
Allianz Worldwide Partners (AWP). AWP is part of the Allianz Group, one of the world's largest insurers and leading financial services companies. They specialise in assistance, international health & life, automotive and travel insurance.
Do I need to take a credit card for the rental company to take a damage deposit/Excess when I collect the car?
In most cases the rental company will require a credit card to pre-authorise the damage deposit/Excess amount. If you do not have a credit card some rental companies force you to then pay for their excess protection to bring it down to £0 even if you have purchased our policy. Please check with your rental company before travelling regarding this.
If I damage the rental car will the rental company still charge me?
Yes they will still take the damage deposit/excess from your credit card. Our excess policy will then reimburse you once you have submitted a claim form.
I live outside of the United Kingdom can I purchase a policy?
Unfortunately not. Currently we only cover residents of the UK.
What rental vehicles do you cover?
Currently we only cover cars. We do not cover the rental of a motor home, trailer, caravan, van, truck, non-passenger carrying vehicle, vehicle that carries more than 9 people including the driver, motorcycle, moped, motorbike or off-road vehicle.
Can I purchase a car hire excess policy if my rental has already started?
No. You must purchase this cover before you have signed the rental agreement.
I have purchased your policy but the car rental company still wants to take a damage deposit when I collect car, is that right?
Yes. Regardless of whether you have our policy or not the rental company will in most cases ask you to leave a holding deposit which is held against your credit card. The deposit is normally the same as the Excess you are responsible for. In the event of damage to the rental car the rental company will still deduct this money from your credit card. Our insurance policy will then reimburse this money to you.
What is the difference between a single policy and an annual policy?
A single policy is designed for a single trip i.e. a 'one off' car rental. You can select up to 180 continuous days cover. Whereas an annual policy will cover you for 12 months for an unlimited number of car rental agreements. Please note each trip must last no longer than 31 continuous days (or 60 continuous days if you upgrade your policy).
What is meant by CDW/LDW (Collision Damage Waiver and Loss Damage Waiver?)
When renting a vehicle the rental company will often refer to Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). CDW is the rental company agreeing to cover/waive the costs of the damage you cause to the rental vehicle. However this 'Waiver' doesn't mean you do not have to pay anything. Normally you have to pay the first part of the damage, known as the EXCESS. You should also be aware that there are a number of items which are not covered by the CDW such as tyres, windscreens and undercarriage. Our policy will cover these items.
LDW means the car rental agreement covers CDW and also covers the cost of replacing the car if it is stolen or written off due to an accident, fire or vandalism. The Excess payable on thefts are normally the same if not higher than the excess applied on the CDW.
When you hire a vehicle in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and most parts of the Middle/Far East CDW/LDW is normally included in the rental - IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CHECK THIS IS IN PLACE OTHERWISE YOU COULD BE LIABLE FOR THE FULL VALUE OF THE VEHICLE, EG. IF IT IS STOLEN OR WRITTEN OFF. Your CDW/LDW will however still come with a large excess which you will need to pay in the event of an incident. By purchasing our Europe or worldwide Excess cover this will reimburse the excess should you be charged this.
Do I need CDW/LDW insurance?
Our products DO NOT cover CDW/LDW and you do need to purchase the CDW/LDW from the rental company or a specific provider of CDW/LDW. In Europe, Africa and Australia CDW/LDW insurance is normally included as standard by the rental company so all you need to worry about is protecting the excess which you can do from us. However in the USA and Canada CDW/LDW may have to be purchased separately (please always check your rental agreement) as it is not always included. Please read our more info page for further details on CDW/LDW.
Below is an extract of a real claim from one of our customers who recently purchased car rental excess insurance: